Saturday, December 23, 2017

Single MOMtreal works to connect donors directly to single mothers in need

By Isaac Olson
Soon after an article about Single MOMtreal was published by the Montreal Gazette on Nov. 29, the new non-profit organization was swept up into the spotlight. The group was highlighted on radio and television while the Gazette article was widely shared online.

Ever since that day, founder Nadia Wiseman has been dealing with a flood of donations as private individuals and businesses from across the Montreal region reach out to her, trying to help all the single moms that are struggling to get by.

At the same time, she says there has also been a flood of single mothers joining the group. Some are just looking to be part a network of single moms that are active together. Others need help. They need help bad.

Wiseman, working closely with dedicated volunteers like Tanya D’Amato, has heard a lot of sad stories and seen a lot of devastating conditions that single mothers are living in with their children.

Some mothers have escaped domestic abuse or unhealthy relationships with nothing but a few suitcases of clothes. Wiseman has seen women living in barren apartments with empty refrigerators, bare shelves and hardly enough blankets to go around.

“What I’ve been doing is matching donors directly with these single mothers in need,” Wiseman explains, noting she tries to connect donors to single mothers by area. For example, an NDG donor might be connected to an NDG mother or, at the very least, somebody right nearby. “I post to our Facebook page and in different groups, asking people to help.”

The nice thing about connecting donors directly to single mothers is people can see exactly who they are helping. It’s a more tangible way to give to those in need. People can actually meet the mother they are helping, she says, and, because of that, people feel more comfortable opening their wallets or digging into their storage for hand-me-down clothing.

“A lot of people don’t like just giving to organizations because they don’t know where their money is going,” observes Wiseman. “Or they still give, but they wonder after if their money actually went to a good cause. But with the way I am doing it, they don’t have to wonder because I show them who it is that they are helping.”

Wiseman says she has been overwhelmed by all the support as people bring in groceries, gift cards and clothing, but more donations are needed. As it is, a lot of people that are stepping up to the plate are single mothers. Wiseman adds, “It’s amazing to see single moms that are already going through hard times themselves, helping others.”

Wiseman says she also needs a place to store all these donations as she lives in a small studio apartment in Côte-des-Neiges with her son. There just isn’t enough space to keep it all.

The Single MOMtreal support group helps mothers connect to resources in the community. In the private Facebook group, mothers can discuss whatever they need, ask questions and seek advice. They help each other every day, plan meetups, trade services and more.

Overall, Wiseman says she is grateful for all those that have given so far. The list is too long to name everybody, but she has regularly made posts to her group’s public Facebook feed. Those posts document all the companies and individuals that have donated. A lot of people, she notes, enjoy giving directly to the organization rather than dumping their second-hand items in donation bins, never sure where they’ll end up.

“People go out of their way to bring me donations,” Wiseman says.

“It’s amazing. One mom received 12 bags of groceries. There are so many examples. People have been so generous. A social worker who came here twice now, she works nearby, she dropped off like $400 in gift cards that she collected from her coworkers at the hospital. She also dropped off some dishes and a brand-new Monopoly game just in time for a mother that was coming out of a woman’s shelter with two children.”

Wiseman says she is grateful for all those that have reached out, but more help is welcome. To learn how you can give, visit Single MOMtreal’s public Facebook page or email

The group's website can be found here:

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